After a year of limited mobility, lockdowns, and social distancing, your customers’ habits have changed significantly — some even permanently. Consumers are embracing online shopping more than ever before, turning to e-commerce for everything from groceries to entertainment, resulting in a 30% increase in U.S. e-commerce sales in 2020.
Online retailers, whether they are giants like Amazon or small direct-to-consumer startups, have an opportunity to grow their operations to meet increased customer demand. But not all companies have taken the steps necessary to expand their logistics.
Has your company experienced a surge in e-commerce orders since the beginning of the pandemic? Are you struggling to keep up with fulfillment with your in-house staff and warehouse space? Do you anticipate sales will remain steady or continue to increase? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you may be ready to upgrade your e-commerce fulfillment with a third-party provider.
Not all third-party logistics (3PL) companies specialize in e-commerce or offer complete fulfillment services, so thoroughly vet several providers before you decide who to work with. Ask them about companies they already work with and how their services have provided value for them. Get specific about how they can customize a solution to meet your company’s needs and grow with you.
Here are a few questions to ask potential providers:
- What is the full list of services do you offer (for example: storage, transportation, fulfillment, and inventory management)?
- Where does your company have locations?
- What domestic and international parcel shipping services do you provide? Who are your transportation partners?
- What technology do you use for warehousing, fulfillment, and transportation management? How do these tools give us visibility into each step of the process? How can it be integrated with the systems we use?
- What are your processes for guaranteeing pick and pack accuracy?
- What is your system for handling inventory management? Will we be able to access real-time updates?
- How will you manage fluctuations in order volume (for example, a huge spike in orders in our high season)?
- Do you handle returns as well as outbound orders?
Find the right e-commerce fulfillment partner, and your business will be well-positioned to increase sales and deliver a better customer experience.
Contact Exegistics about your e-commerce fulfillment needs.